Confusion within LP-A A +A
Thursday, October 11, 2012
FIRST, it was Cebu City Election Officer Michael Sarno. Now, it’s Provincial Election Supervisor Marco Lionel Castillano’s turn to be betrayed by the camera.
A photo of Castillano raising his pointer finger as he posed with One Cebu gubernatorial candidate Pablo John Garcia and his (PJ’s) family had the local Liberal Party scrambling to compose a letter to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes complaining against Castillano’s alleged lack of impartiality.
Castillano explained that he was merely trying to amuse PJ’s younger son but Junjun Davide and Agnes Magpale are not impressed, with the LP gubernatorial candidate saying that the picture speaks a thousand words. “We should let Brillantes know what is going on,” Magpale chimed in.
Unless they have other issues against him as Magpale claimed, my unsolicited advice to the LP is to take it easy on Castillano. If you closely examine the photo, you’ll see that the Comelec official is indeed looking at the child who appears to be crying.
Note also that it is only Castillano who is shown making the hand sign that is closely associated with One Cebu. It was an innocent gesture, not an endorsement of any one. It is such a petty issue for the LP to waste their time on.
If any lesson can be learned from the experience, it is that if you’re a Comelec official or an employee, you should refrain from posing with candidates. If you cannot resist the temptation of preening before the cameras, just make sure that your hands are safely tucked inside your pocket.
So, there is going to be no free zone for the Liberal Party in Cebu. President Aquino will be campaigning for all the LP candidates from the governor up to the last councilor, according to a text message from the party’s president to former Cebu 4th Dist. Cong. Tining Martinez.
That the LP national headquarters had to issue the clarification speaks volumes about the confusion that has resulted from the coalitions and alliances that the administration party had forged with as many willing partners as are available. It seems that the LP so badly and desperately wants their candidates for senators to win that it would not be beneath them to sign a contract with the devil incarnate if that would give them that assurance.
The LP strategy could backfire, however. In Cebu, for example, it is difficult to see how the Garcias and their allies, including 4th Dist. Cong. Benhur Salimbangon, could possibly campaign for the LP Senate ticket despite their being members of the NUP which has an alliance with Aquino’s party.
One Cebu has its own alliance with the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA) which is fielding its own complete Senate slate next year.
In fact, Gov. Gwen Garcia was in that ticket until she decided to withdraw from the race to help in the campaign to preserve their hold of the province. Even if the LP had declared a free zone in the local level, how could have One Cebu candidates like the governor, PJ and Benhur supported the LP? It’s really confusing, right?
We should be able to see a clearer picture once the official campaign period starts.
Between now and then, there will be some horse-trading which will result in either camp carrying a mestizo ticket.
As always, politics is the art of making the seemingly impossible, possible.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2012.